NEWS ANALYSIS: The BlackBerry Q10 is the direct successor to a long line of once-popular keyboard-based mobile phones. But it won’t be worth buying.
The world of BlackBerry is on the precipice of, well, something. If one asks folks at BlackBerry headquarters where the company is headed, they’ll say it’s to bigger and better things.
Those who aren’t so sure that BlackBerry is living in reality will look at the company’s latest announcements and product introductions and say that it’s still stuck on a path to obscurity for a possible rendezvous with extinction. The debate over where BlackBerry is headed and what we can all expect is decidedly a tough one to handicap.
But as BlackBerry prepares to start selling its Z10 touch-screen phone in the U
nited States, it’s time to put focus on which of the new BlackBerry models are worth buying. The BlackBerry Q10, which was announced at BlackBerry’s late-January event, has all but gone missing in action. However, there are still some potential customers, especially those enterprise users who have used BlackBerry products for years, who are wondering if the Q10 with a physical keyboard is one they should wait on.
For those people, let’s make it simple: no, don’t wait. The future is in touch-screens and high-end hardware. And unfortunately for BlackBerry, the Q10 just doesn’t deliver.
Read on to find out why no one should want to buy the BlackBerry Q10:
1. There’s a physical keyboard
In a nod to its longtime customers, BlackBerry built a physical QWERTY keyboard into the Q10. Although that might excite some customers who say a physical keyboard is better, it causes all kinds of trouble for developers who want to get their apps to work across the entire platform as well as on other phone makers’ models. Plus physical keyboard is losing its value to customers around the world. That’s bad news for the Q10.
2. Smaller screen
In a world where HTC, Samsung and Apple are all delivering big displays, it’s somewhat surprising that BlackBerry is only offering a 3.1-inch screen in the Q10. The company’s touch-screen-equipped Z10 has a 4.2-inch display. Considering Samsung is expected to unveil a Galaxy S IV with a 5-inch screen, the Q10’s will look awfully small in comparison
3. Is BlackBerry 10 for consumers or enterprise users?
BlackBerry has painted itself into a very dangerous corner. The company is well-known as an enterprise service provider, but at its BlackBerry 10 event, in which the Q10 was unveiled, it couldn’t quite answer a simple question: is the operating system, BlackBerry 10, along with its handsets, designed for enterprise users or consumers? So far, BlackBerry hasn’t answered that question. And the Q10 is in no man’s land hoping for an answer (and eventually, some customers).
4. Mum’s the word
Since the Q10 isn’t available yet, the Z10 has been taking center stage in all of BlackBerry’s marketing efforts. But that’s a problem. The Q10 is the device that old-time BlackBerry fans really want to know about. And so far, BlackBerry hasn’t said much. That silence on the device has to concern these potential customers.